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ship for New York, where he was exchanged in July, and soon
after joined his regiment, and was in the battle in Rhode Island,
and in that signal retreat, under Gen. Sullivan,

"The Massachusetts Spy" (Worcester), August 24, 1836.

According to the genealogical tables in the Appendix to
Mr. Butler's History (p, 417), Joseph Longley was born on


August 6, 1744. The date of his death was July 8, 1836,
according to the American Almanac for the year 1837, where
the following notice of him appeals under the head of " Amer-
ican Obituary," though his Christian name is erroneously
given as William : —

July 8. — At Hawley, Mass., aged 92, William \_yosepM'\ Longley,
who was one year in the French war, and 5 years in the revo-
lutionary war (p. 304).

William was an elder brother of Edmund Longley, who
was born at Groton, on October 31, 1746, of whom a bio-
graphical sketch appears in the American Almanac for the
year 1844, under the head of "American Obituary for 1842,"
as follows : —

Nov. 29. — In Hawley, Ms., Edmicnd Lofigley Esq., aged 96.
He erected the first framed house in H. (then called No. 7,) and
removed his family into it in 1781. He was sent for many years
to the General Court ; was the first Plantation and Town Clerk ;
held the offices of Town Clerk, Selectman, and Treasurer ; was a
Justice of the Peace for nearly 50 years, and was both a soldier
and an officer in the revolutionary war (p. 313).

At Groton 15th inst, William Blodgett, formerly of Tyngsboro',
a revolutionary pensioner, at the age of 90 years and 8 months.
His descendants were 6 children, 37 grand-children, 23 great-
grand-children, and one of the fifth generation. He entered the
army at the age of 16 years, and was one of the number to guard
Burgoyne's Troops at Winter Hill ; he afterwards shipped on board
a Letter of Marque on a trading voyage in 1782. On his return
home in the brig Iris, of Boston, they captured at the mouth of
James river, in Virginia, an English brig mounting 16 guns, with
about 100 prisoners, among whom were 30 Americans in irons.
On the 2d day after the battle, they encountered a storm which
drove the American brig and the prize both on shore, and dashed
them in pieces, and all was lost except the crews, which were saved
by the inhabitants. He next entered the service of his Savior, and
remained in his service about 60 years, and as he entered the
threshhold of eternity, he repeated the following lines :


" I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,

Or to defend his cause,

Maintain the honor of his word,

The glory of his cross."
" The Boston Daily Atlas," November 22, 1852.

Another Veteran Gone. — Died in Groton, August 2nd [1851],
Mr. William Tarbell, one of the last of the Revolutionary patriots,
aged 87. Mr. Tarbell joined the army when quite young, and was
with General Washington during the last three years of the war, but
having been appointed to draw plans and paint sketches of the various
battle fields and encampments, by the commander-in-chief, he was
never in any action during that time. He was with the army during
its encampment at Valley Forge, and his picture of this camp ground,
which was painted in the log house then occupied by Gen. Washing-
ton, is now in possession of his son in this city, and though much
faded, is still an object of great interest.

" Daily Evening Traveller," September 25, 1851.

Stevens, Maj. Thomas, Brooksville, Me., 7 May ; in his 90th year.
He was a native of Groton, Mass., and a soldier of the Revolution.

"The New England Historical and Genealogical Register" (VII. 295), for
July, 1S53.

In Groton, N. H. the 20th Nov. last, Mr. Samuel Blood, aged 67
years, a soldier of the revolution, and formerly of Groton, Mass.

"Columbian Centinel" (Boston), February 3, 1830.

In Groton, ; Mr. Amos Davis, a soldier of the revolution,

aged 82.

"Columbian Daily Centinel" (Boston), December 6, 1834.

Isaac Farvvell, born in Groton, Mass., 1744, March 28, was a lieu-
tenant at Bunker Hill, soon became a captain, and fought in the con-
tinental army till the close of the war. He died in 1791, Dec. 31,
and is buried in the Charlestown [N. H.] cemetery.

Henry Swan Dana's " History of Woodstock, Vermont " (p. 597).

In Groton, Mass. Sept. 2, Captain Zacharias Fitch, aged 86.
" Columbian Centinel " (Boston), Sept. 9, 1820.


Died in Groton, Mass. June 24, Mr. Isaiah Hall, aged 74, a revolu-
tionary soldier and patriot. For many years he had been gradually
declining, and devoted the principal part of his time to reading and
meditation. The word of God was his principal study and source of
comfort, and when too feeble to read himself, nothing afforded him so
much satisfaction as to hear its sacred contents often read. His last
sickness, though long and lingering, was borne with that calmness and
resignation which a firm faith in the religion of Jesus Christ imparts ;
and the remaining days of his bereaved partner will be consoled by
that hope which animated him in his last hours, and made death to
him the harbinger of eternal rest. — [Communicated.]

"Columbian Daily Centinel " (Boston), July 2, 1834.

In Pepperell, Jan. 14th, Mr. Robinson Lakin, 83, a revolutionary
soldier — he was a drummer in the company commanded by Capt
John Nutting, in Col Wm Prescott's regiment, and was in the redoubt
on Bunker Hill when the attack was made by the British army. In
this battle eight of said company were killed and eight wounded.

" Boston Daily Advertiser," February 27, 1838.

At Groton, on the 12th instant, Capt James Lewis, aged 74, (for-
merly of Billerica). In every situation in which he was placed through
a long and active life, he bore an upright and honorable character.
He was an officer of the militia during the whole of the revolutionary
war; the companion of Buttrick, Davis, and others who composed
that valiant little band that resisted a superior British force, at the
bridge in Concord, on the memorable 19th of April, 1775. -^^ ^o^'
tinued a uniform and firm supporter of those republican principles,
for which he so early stood forth, and ever supported the character of
an exemplary citizen, tender husband, and kind parent — he lived
respected and died lamented.

"Boston Patriot," Saturday, June 23, 1810.

In Groton, 15th inst. Mr. Joshua Parker, a revolutionary soldier,
79; ... .

"Boston Daily Advertiser," September 23, 1S43.

At Groton, Elnathan Sawtell, Esq. 8$.
" Daily Centinel and Gazette " (Boston), September 3, 1S36.


Mr. Savvtell was a Revolutionary soldier, and he died on
August 31, 1836. His epitaph gives him the title of Lieu-
tenant, which was acquired after the War.

In Groton, 7th July, Mr. Nehemiah Whetman, a revolutionary pen-
sioner, aged 82.

"Columbian Daily Centinel " (Boston), August 5, 1835.

In Groton, Mr. David Wilson, a revolutionary soldier, aged 90.
His death was occasioned by falling into the fire, supposed in a fit.

" Columbian Daily Centinel" (Boston) February 23, 1833.

In Groton, 8th inst. Col. Samson Woods, aged 65. [A son of
General Henry and Deborah (Parker) Woods.]

"Columbian Centinel" (Boston), February 11, 1826.

In Groton, 20th inst. Lt. Pelatiah Russell, aged 77, an officer in
the Army of the Revolution, and a pensioner.

" Boston Daily Advertiser," January 27, 1831.

At Groton, Jan. 9th, Lieut Wm Parker, 71 ; he was one of the
vindicators of independence at 15 years of age, in the heat of the
battle at Bunker Hill, and proved valiant during the war, both by
land and sea.

" Daily Evening Transcript," January 23, 1833.

Mr. Sheldon writes me from Deerfield, under date of July
19, 1892, as follows:

On a pay-roll of Capt. Hugh Maxwell, Col. John Bailey's Regt.,
I find that Noah Russell, of Groton, enlisted for the war Jany. — 1 777
and died June 23, 1777.


The following inscriptions are found on gravestones in the
old burying-ground, and will explain themselves : —

soldiers' epitaphs. 51

[Cherub's Head]

Here lies the Body of

Joseph son of Mf Ephraim

& M'.' Azubah Parker

who died Sep' 22*? 1775

Aged 5 years & 2 monl

Also in Memory of M'

Nehem*! son of y": above

nani'd persons, who died

in his Country service

at Ticonderoga Oct' 22"^

1776. In y^ig"' year of his


Nehemiah Parker enlisted originally, on April 30, 1775, in
Captain Asa Lawrence's Company.

[Cherub's Head]

Memento mori

Here lies the
Body of M' Simon

Patch who was
wounded in y': de-
fence of his Country
at y\ White-plaijis
Oct^28'!' 1776 and
died of his wound
Dec^ 3 if 1776 in y!
28'!' year of his age.

The son of Ebenezer and Sarah Patch, born July 11, 1749.
He was brought home on a litter from White Plains, New
York, a distance of nearly two hundred miles, accompanied
by his elder brother. The litter was made by fitting the
butt-ends of two small trees into the stirrups of a saddle, and
putting a sack of hay behind on the branches.


Memento [Cherub] Mori

M? Abigail Kenrick
Widow of CapJ Caleb
Kenrick, left her
pleasant habitation
in Newton, & came to
her Daughier Dana's
in Groton, on accoun'
of y" civil War & Sep' 5.
1775. JE. 76. was remov-
ed by dysentery, to that
place where y*: wicked cea^^
from troubling & y^ weary

are at rest.

Her maiden name was Bowen, and her daughter was mar-
ried to the Reverend Samuel Dana.

The following epitaph is copied from a marble slab in the
Lawrence lot at the Cemetery. Mrs. Bigelow's death took
place in Groton at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Luther
Lawrence. ' Her husband, Colonel Bigelow, died on March
31, 1790, in Worcester, where there is a monument erected
to his memory on the Common.


lie the mortal remains of

Mrs. anna BIGELOW,

relict of

Col. Timothy Bigelow

of Worcester, Mass.

She died Aug. 2, 1809,

^t. 6^ yrs.


Within a period of less than twenty years three persons
have died, whose fathers were natives of Groton and soldiers
during the American Revolution, namely: Andrew Johnson
Parker (youngest child of Joshua Parker), who died at


Charlestown, on December 31, 1894; the Reverend Thomas
Treadwell Stone, D. D. (youngest son of Deacon Solomon
Stone), who died at Bolton, on November 13, 1895, and at the
time of his death the oldest alumnus of Bowdoin College ;
and Luther Lewis Tarbell (youngest son of William Tarbell),
who died at Marlboro, on July 10, 1896.

In connection with this subject, I will say that I remember
William Tarbell very well, who in my day always used to
wear a queue. In this notice of him the statement that he
made a drawing of the encampment at Valley Forge is incor-
rect. In the summer of 1783, however, he did make a rude
drawing of the camp at New Windsor just above West Point,
where he was then serving. It represents the barracks and
other features of the camp which I remember seeing very
many years ago. Presumably it is still in the possession of
the family.


Colonel Kimball was originally a member of the Fourth
Battalion of Rifles, which was merged in the Thirteenth Massa-
chusetts Volunteers.


Colonel George Hartwell Kimball died unexpectedly at his home
in Los Angeles, Cal., on Thursday from acute pneumonia. He was
seventy-one years old and leaves a wife and one daughter. Colonel
Kimball was born at Groton Sept. 25, 1841. When the Civil War
began he enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Rifles, and because of
his service he was promoted to be first lieutenant. He resigned in
1863. After a short stay in the East he went to Dakota and Arizona
where he was a post trader. Then, interested in grain commission
business and storage, he went to California. He was lieutenant colo-
nel and aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Stoneman. Until 1877
he held a responsible position with the Spring Valley Water Company
of San Francisco, and then went to Southern California to make his
permanent home.

"Boston Evening Transcript," October 11, 1912.



Here is another of the many, a few of whom still live, who fought
their last battle on the field of Chancellorsville. He is the only son
of Thomas N. and Mary C. (Cummings) Hughes, and was born
in Groton, Mass., August i6, 1845.

He was wounded on the retreat by a piece of shell striking him on
the spine. He was sent to hospital at Washington, D. C, then to
Rhode Island, from which he was furloughed home and discharged.

He was married March 21, 187 1, to Addie S. Sheppard, of Ash-
land, and has one child, Elmer C. He was a farmer's boy when he
enHsted, but has been for many years since the war a prosperous mer-
chant in the town of Ashland.

" History of the Twelfth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War
of the Rebellion," by Capt. A. W. Bartlett, p. 610.


Wyman. — At the Soldiers' Home, Chelsea, April 8, Jackson
Wyman, late private Company A, Fifty-third Massachusetts Infantry,
62 yrs. Born in Groton, Mass. Admitted to the Home Feb. 14,
1 90 1, from Fitchburg, Mass.

" Boston Journal," April 9, 1901.

He was the youngest child of Reuben and Sally (Parker)
Wyman, and was born at Groton, on May 11, 1839. He en-
listed in Company A, Fifty-third Regiment Infantry, Massa-
chusetts Volunteer Militia, on August 31, 1862, and served
in the quota of Fitchburg until March 5, 1863, when he was
discharged for disability. He left a widow and two sons,
residents of Fitchburg.


Oliver L. Nourse, 65 years old, died this morning at the Soldiers'
Home at Chelsea. He was a native of Groton, Mass., and was ad-
mitted to the home exactly one year ago yesterday. He served in
the civil war as a sergeant in company C, i6th Massachusetts infan-
try. He was admitted to the home from Harvard.

"Boston Herald," Tuesday, May 15, 1906.



In the library of the Historical Society there is a copy of a
book, written in Latin by Joseph Acosta, and published at
Cologne in the year 1596, which once belonged to Chief
Justice Samuel Sewall, and bears his autograph signature,
dated March 9, 1698-9. The volume is entitled " De Natvra
Novi Orbis," etc., and has been in the possession of the So-
ciety for more than a century. On a fly-leaf, at the beginning
of the book, is the following note in Judge Sewall's hand-
writing: " Nunnacdquis signifies an Indian Earthen Pot as
Hafiah Hahatan's Squaw tells me March, 24. 169I;," — which
throws some light on the meaning of an Indian word. I men-
tion the fact, as I am inclined to think that the term is iden-
tical with or closely allied to Nonacoicus, the Indian name
of Major Simon Willard's farm at Groton. William Hahatan,
Hannah's husband, belonged to the Ponkapoag tribe. His
name is sometimes written Ahauton, Nahatan, and even

As the spelling of all such words by the early settlers was
phonetic, Nonacoicus has several different forms ; and it is
easy to see how the one may have been taken from the other,
or from a similar form. Another variation of the word, as
given in Sewall's Letter Book (I. 98), is " Nonna Coyacas ";
and Nonajcoyicus, Nonecoicus, and Nonacoiacus are also
found in old manuscripts.

In the original survey of the farm, returned by Thomas
Noyes to the General Court at the session beginning on
October 18, 1659, it is said that the land lies "at the place
wch is Called by the Indians nanajcoyijcus." From this it
would seem that the name was given to the neighborhood by
the red men, and not by the whites. Perhaps earthen pots
were made in that locality, as fragments of pottery, as well
as various stone implements, were formerly found there and
elsewhere throughout the township ; and this fact may have
given a distinctive name to the place.

Originally Nonacoicus included the district in Harvard now
known as the Old Mill, — two miles away from Willard's


farm, — where Jonas Prescott, of Groton, the grandfather of
Colonel William Prescott, the American commander at Bunker
Hill, had his grist-mill. John Prescott, of Lancaster, in his
will, dated October 8, 1673, and on file in the Middlesex
County Probate Office at East Cambridge, says in reference
to his third son Jonas, named above, that " he hath Re-
ceiued a full Childs portion at nonecoicus in a Corne mill
and Lands and other goods." After the death of Major
Willard, Nonacoicus farm passed into the hands of Hezekiah
Usher, and the deed speaks of the place as " Nonaicoicus
farme"; and in Sewall's Diary there are many allusions both
to Usher and his wife. Usher's will is dated at Nonacoicus,
on August 17, 1689. The judge himself was a member of
the Third Church of Christ in Boston, now known as the
" Old South," where he was a constant attendant on Sun-
days ; and the minister at the time of the writing on the fly-
leaf, was the Reverend Samuel Willard, a former preacher at
Groton, and son of the first owner of the farm. All these
circumstances, trivial in themselves, tend to show that the
Indian name of the place was familiar to Sewall. The farm
was situated on the banks of the Nashua River, in a neigh-
borhood full of Indian traditions and associations. Major
Willard's house was the first dwelling burned by the savages,
when the town of Groton was destroyed in the spring of

My friend George J. Burns, Esq., a lawyer of Ayer, who
has passed his whole life in the neighborhood of Nonacoicus,
and is withal an accurate antiquary, thinks that the name was
owing to the natural conformation of the land. The following
letter, written by him in answer to one from me, gives a high
degree of plausibility to his theory in the matter:

Ayer, Mass., May 10, 1893.
Hon. Samuel A. Green,

30 Tremont St., Boston :

My dear Dr. Green, — Upon the west side of the Nashua River,
near the mouth of Nonacoicus Brook, there is a very peculiar natural
formation that could not have escaped the attention of the Indians ;
and it was of sufficient importance, both as a landmark, and as a post


of observation commanding a view up and down the intervale, and
rising above the floods that periodically inundate the surrounding
lands, to have received a designation by them. While it is not alone
the only " earthen pot " in this vicinity, it is just the kind of a forma-
tion to which such a name would be particularly applicable.

It consists of a promontory about 500 feet in length, varying from
300 to 500 feet in width, and protruding from the higher lands at the
east in a succession of irregular ridges or small hills, which surround
or enclose various hollows or basins, some of which contain water.
During the last fifteen years I have often visited the place and won-
dered at its physical peculiarities, and I have tried to imagine what
impression it made on the natives. I consider it the most interesting
and curious natural feature of the territory called " Nonacoicus," and
I am strongly of the opinion that it gave rise to the Indian name of
this neighborhood.

Yours truly,

Geo. J. Burns.

Many years ago (May, 1893) I made the remarks given above
before the Massachusetts Historical Society, in regard to the
Indian word Nonacoicus, a name well known to Groton anti-
quaries. At a period some time later Mr. Wm. Wallace
Tooker, of Sag Harbor, Long Island, wrote me a letter giving
the full meaning and derivation of the word. As Mr. Tooker's
authority is unquestioned in matters of Indian philology, I
print it with a high appreciation of the favor. I was par-
ticularly interested in his allusion to the existence of steatite
in this neighborhood. There is not a boy in town that does
not know of the soapstone quarry, formerly worked quite
extensively. At rare intervals in the vicinity Indian relics are
still found.

Brooklyn, N. Y., Oct. 21st, 1898.
Dr. S.\muel a. Green :

My dear Sir : — I thank you heartily for the five interesting pam-
phlets from your hands received yesterday. It is in such researches
that I take delight. You have in Massachusetts a field almost limitless
in my specialty, i. e., Indian place names and their history. Some
one ought to assemble all your names wherever they can be found
with brief historical memoranda relating to each name. I have done


this for Long Island, N. Y., and shall some day publish the result of
my labors.

There is no question but what Nunnacdquis signifies an earthen pot,
but that is not all it means. The terminal coqiiis is the •' earthen pot."
In a manuscript vocabulary taken down by Thomas Jefferson in the
presence of James Madison and General Floyd in 1794, at Pusspa-
tuck, L. I., I find its parallel coqiiees "a pot." The prefix nunna is
probably nana, nunoh, nanap or ?iunnaw, as Eliot varies it, " dry,"
hence " a dry earthen pot.'" The Indians were so ver)' exact and
descriptive in their place names that I can hardly beUeve it was ever
applied to a natural feature, as suggested by Mr. Bums. It would in-
dicate either the personal name of an Indian who hved thereabouts,
called '•' dry kettle," or else it has lost its locative affix, and originally
signified " a dr)' pot place,'" Nunnacoquis-es-et, which may not refer
to a clay vessel but to those made of steatite or soapstone. Is there
a soapstone quarry in the locality once frequented by the Indians ?
Many such, as no doubt you are aware, have been discovered in
Rhode Island, Virginia and elsewhere.

Has your Society a copy of my Cockenoe-de-Long Island t It is
now entirely out of print, and I have forgotten whether I sent one or
not. I had only a few for distribution. If the Society has none, I
will endeavor to find one.

Again thanking you for your kindness

I am very truly yours

Wm. Wall.-^ce Tooker.


We are informed from Groton, that a Man, his Wife and two Chil-
dren died there of a Fever, in one Week.

And that a Woman of that Place, went to one of her Neighbours,
for something in a Chest there, on which lay two Pistols loaded, the
Woman of the House took them off and gave them to the other, while
she opened the Chest • and stooping down to take out what she
wanted, one of the Pistols went off in the Woman's hand, and shot
her Neighbour through the Head, of which she died in a few Days.

" The Boston Xews-Letter," October 3, 1723.

Some Days ago a young Man at Work in a new House at Groton
catching hold on a wTong Rope, fell from the Top to the Bottom, and
was kill'd in a Moment.

"The Boston Gazette, or, Weekly Advertiser," November 5, 1754.




The schemes and undertakings of one generation are often
interesting and suggestive to another, even when they are not
carried out or completed. Many years ago Loammi Baldwin,
a noted engineer of that period, made a survey for a canal
from Boston to the Connecticut River, and proposed, further-
more, an extension from its western terminus to the Hudson
River, with a tunnel under the Hoosac Mountain. An en-
graved plan of the survey was made by Annin & Smith, of
Boston, which showed the exact route of the undertaking.
It is found at the end of a " Report of the Commissioners of
the State of Massachusetts, on the routes of canals from
Boston Harbour to Connecticut and Hudson Rivers " (Boston,
1826), and is entitled " Plan of a Survey for a Canal from
Boston to Connecticut River, with a sketch of a proposed
Route to the Hudson. Made under the direction of the
Commissioners by L. Baldwin, Engineer."

It is interesting to note the fact that the canal followed
substantially, as might be expected, the present line of the
Fitchburg Railroad. Beginning with Charles River it passed
through Cambridge, Watertown, Waltham, Lincoln, Concord,
Acton, Littleton, Groton, Shirley, Lunenburg, and Fitchburg,
and from this place it went through Ashburnham and Win-
chendon and then followed down Miller's River to the Con-
necticut. Thence it was to pass up the Deerfield River
through a tunnel under the Hoosac Mountain, by North
Adams, and so down the Hoosac River to the Hudson.

Loammi Baldwin was a native of Woburn, and a graduate
of Harvard College in the Class of 1800. After leaving Cam-
bridge he studied law with the Honorable Timothy Bigelow,

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